Black Panther, like Wonder Woman before it, is a comic book movie genre game-changer. Set in the technologically advanced African nation of Wakanda, the film boasts a predominantly black cast and has promised to offer a cinematic experience unlike any other with early reactions hailing the film amongst Marvel’s finest. Now, full reviews for Black Panther have been released online. So, does Black Panther live up to the hype? Not only does it live up to expectations, it exceeds them!
Black Panther boasts a phenomenal 100% rating on Rotten Tomatoes with an average rating of 8.4/10. Critics are calling the film a cinematic game-changer, thanks to its fantastic performances, stunning visuals and superb action sequences. Check out our review round-up below!
Alonso Duralde from The Wrap
One of the most dramatic — and relevant — storylines the film explores is whether or not advanced societies owe it to the global community to share their discoveries rather than keep their bounty to themselves. (Or as one character asks, putting none too fine a point on it, do we build bridges or erect barriers?)
Jim Vejvoda from IGN
Black Panther delivers the goods as an adventure film, a political statement, and a cultural celebration. It shakes off a sluggish start thanks to a memorable cast of characters going up against Marvel’s best-realized villain in almost a decade. Some of the vibrance is drained by cartoonish visual effects that endanger the very human feel of the story, but the emotional weight of its themes and the cast’s compelling performances ultimately keep the film on track. Overall Black Panther is an exciting step forward for the MCU. Long live the king!
Nate Brail from Heroic Hollywood
Black Panther does what other Marvel films don’t really get a chance to do. It breathes. It explains the plot, builds its characters through one film instead of many, and develops a villain with a backstory that rivals any comic book movie villain that came before him. What feels like a slow build ends up making Black Panther feel complete. I’m glad that Marvel let Coogler do what he does best with this movie. The cinematography and the special effects make everything beautiful. This movie will make any Black Panther fan proud. It was everything you’d want it to be. It’s black. It’s beautiful. It’s brilliant. More importantly, it’s for the culture. Go see it.
Brandon Davis from Comicbook
Black Panther does not reinvent super hero movies. A few of its scenes and plots feel a bit disjointed as a lot of ground is covered in its 135 minute run time, causing a few transitions to feel sudden or out of place. It serves as an incredibly important cultural message arriving at a crucial time, complete with stunning visuals, unforgettable and epic action-sequences, an inspirational arc for both the protagonist and antagonist, and it introduces a slew of new characters who may be a bit underused this time around but will have us crying out for a sequel.
Peter Deburge from Variety
In their print form, comic books have led the way in terms of representation and inclusivity, long empowering non-white, non-male characters in their pages. Although previous big-screen examples certainly exist — among them Wesley Snipes’ “Blade” and Will Smith’s “Hancock” — “Black Panther” celebrates its hero’s heritage while delivering one of Marvel’s most all-around appealing standalone installments to date. Going forward, Black Panther will join the ranks of the Avengers, further diversifying their ranks. In the meantime, it’s awesome to see Black Power celebrated in such a mainstream fashion.
Leah Greenblat from Entertainment Weekly
Coogler’s filmmaking isn’t flawless. The CG backdrops veer into screensaver territory, and the battle scenes are often shot in turbulent closeup; the last 30 minutes are so frenetic it feels like there are defibrillator pads sewn into the theater seats. But he infuses nearly every frame with soul and style, and makes the radical case that a comic-book movie can actually have something meaningful — beyond boom or kapow or America — to say. In that context, Panther’s nuanced celebration of pride and identity and personal responsibility doesn’t just feel like a fresh direction for the genre, it’s the movie’s own true superpower.
Todd McCarthy from The Hollywood Reporter
There’s no mistaking you’re still in the Marvel universe here, but this entry sweeps you off to a part of it you’ve never seen, a hidden lost world in Africa defined by royal traditions and technological wonders that open up refreshing new dramatic, visual and casting possibilities. Getting it right where other studios and franchises — they know who they are — get it wrong, Marvel and Disney have another commercial leviathan here, although it will be interesting to see how it plays in certain overseas markets, where industry traditionalists say black-dominated fare sometimes under-performs.
Peter Travers from Rolling Stone
There aren’t many superhero films that blow you away with thunderous effects and also tackle ethnic and gender issues, crush racial stereotypes, celebrate women and condemn Trump-era notions of exclusionism. It’s easier and way more commercial to be oblivious. But that’s not Coogler’s style. Written and directed by African Americans who make up most of the cast, the film has taken flak from critics who believe that Marvel is hijacking African traditions to sell tickets, bemoaning the fact that the film was mostly shot in Atlanta instead of Africa. But the accusations ring hollow and ignore the mint-fresh inventiveness and passionate commitment to the black experience that’s instilled in every frame. It’s impossible not to cheer Boseman as T’Challa emerges as Marvel’s once and future king. Say this about Black Panther, which raises movie escapism very near the level of art: You’ve never seen anything like it in your life. Wakanda forever!
So what do you think? Are you going to see Black Panther next week? Let us know in the comments and on social media and stay tuned for our upcoming review of Black Panther!